Jesus Is the Resurrection and the Life [John 11]

18Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off;19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. 20Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house.21Martha then said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.22"Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You."23Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."24Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."25Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,26and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"27She said to Him, "Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world."

I loved my brother and can relate to the pain that Martha, Mary and Jesus felt when Lazarus died. When I was 19, my 21 year old brother and one of my closest friends, Rick, was in a motorcycle wreck. His roommate called me to tell me he was hurt and in the hospital. I was in a city four hours away and a friend drove with me to the hospital. We weren't able to reach my parents until the next day. When we arrived, some orderlies were wheeling my brother to the ICU. I spent the next three days by myself next to his bed in the ICU holding his hand and talking to him. He never answered me because he was in a coma. Amazingly, except for the bandage on his head, he had no other visible injuries. My parents arrived on the third day and made me go to the motel with them that evening. My brother died that night and I never saw him again.

I wasn't a Christian at the time and it was years before I was able to process the deep hurt. My pain was not wasted though because that hurt from Rick's death was one of the major things that drove me to Christ several years later. And now I know that even though I wasn't aware of Him, Jesus was there with me through it all. He had numbered my brother's days and had even exposed Him to the truth of the gospel. I don't know if he was saved, but I do know that I have his Bible and that he had a Sunday School teacher who told him about Jesus at some point in his life. And I also know that Jesus is the resurrection and the life and that I won't be too surprised if I see my brother again when Jesus comes to gather His church. Meanwhile, Jesus comforts my sadness as I think about Rick and He always is willing to carry my pain when I give it to Him.

Jesus, I praise you that you are the resurrection and the life and that life and death are in your hands alone. I praise you that you weep at my pain and loss and can carry it for me. Cause me to walk in the comfort that You alone can give.
Beth Warlick, 12/13/2010